If you have a passion for skin and skincare and you love playing with makeup and skin products, you may consider going to a beauty school and studying skin. Some beauty colleges offer skin, hair and nails combined but others allow you to take the 600-hour course alone. Many times, the schools will supply you with the needed items, or will offer the products in the product room for you to use as a community. You will likely have to supply your own tools when you go to take the state board licensing exam, but the kit the school provides will cover most of what you are needing.
When you leave the school, many spas or salons will also offer fully stocked rooms so you will not have to supply your own products, but you can also choose to open your own salon/spa or enter a booth rental agreement. Either of those options will likely have you needing to stock your own room. If you have questions, here is a guide for the types of supplies you will likely find yourself needing based on what services you choose to offer.
Esthetician School Supplies
Most schools will supply you with your own items. They can come in tote bags with the brand’s name, like Dermalogica. They will have a mix of samples of different products Dermalogica offers along with the salon (professional) size precleanse, salon size cleanser (typically one that can be used for all skin types at first), exfoliant, a mask that can be used for all skin types and a moisturizer that can be used for all skin types. They will typically also include a daytime moisturizer that contains an SPF. The kit will come in a tote bag and will come with make up brushes, skin brushes for masks, a make up pallet, mascara and lip gloss.
Both esthetician and cosmetology courses will teach make up artistry as well as skin (or skin and hair), so make up for all skin types and skin tones will be needed. Some make ups are neutral, others are warm and cool. You will need disposable eye applicators, cotton pads, lip applicators and small cups to put some of the make up in so you won’t have to double dip. Keeping make up from touching someone’s skin is extremely important, so make sure to have enough disposable items to prevent potentially spreading bacteria.
You will also need a hand sanitizer, an antibacterial cleaner for surfaces, towels to wet and warm for removing, a basket to put dirty laundry, a machine to warm the towels, a state legal first aid kit (antiseptic, band aids and anything else that your state requires, it will vary by location), headwrap or headband to keep products out of hair, drape to protect clothing and PPE (eye protection, mask, and gloves). You will also need scrubs (like nurse scrubs) in the colors mentioned by the school.
Most of these will be provided by the school. Some of the items will be given in kits and others will be available in the product room for everyone to use. In most cases, you will need to supply your own scrubs and they will typically tell you the types of shoes you need.
When you get out of school and into an actual spa or salon, many will supply your items. You can choose to do either a booth rental where you will have to supply your own items but you set your own prices, get your own clients, keep everything you make and pay a small fee to rent the booth. It will depend on what services you choose to do but there are a few things that are absolute necessities for any services you do. This also counts if you choose to open your own practice.
A good, high quality cleanser for each skin type is a must for starting out. You will also need good moisturizers for all skin types, exfoliants for all skin types, any creams or special skin treatments for all skin types (Vitamin A, retinol or antiaging creams to put on the skin after the cleansing and exfoliant), brushes and cotton pads to put on the treatments, PPE- gloves, eye protection, masks, first aid kit with band aids and treatments for cuts or scrapes, cups to pour products in, warm and wet towels with a warmer and a basket to toss dirty linens. You will also need access to a washer and dryer and an autoclave to sterilize tools.
Must Have Esthetician Tools
There are some bigger supplies and equipment you will need. These will be higher investments, but they will also be important if you want to do microdermabrasion, O2 treatments or any other more advanced treatments.
You will need a microderm machine, this is a machine that has detachable heads- some will have suction and others will have a crystal head. The crystal head is for more sensitive skin types and the suction will spit out and suck up small grain. You will also need 2-3 types of grain (for different skin types). You will need an O2 machine, which can be used to steam the face with oxygen using a special wand. If you want to offer
Your must have equipment depends entirely on what services you will offer. If you are going to offer facials, you need a good facial chair. You may also wish to get a massage table for back and other skin treatments. If you are planning on offering sugaring (a procedure like waxing) you need a sugar melter and heater. That will often come with the sugar product you choose to purchase.
- Esthetician Waxing Supplies
Waxing is one of the most basic of the services. Most salons and spas offer at least eye brow shaping and waxing. You may choose to focus on brows, or you may want to offer all over body and facial waxing. If you offer body waxing, you will need larger muslin strips. For eyebrows and small facial waxing, you will need to cut smaller strips.
For waxing, you need cloth strips, like muslin or paper. You also need at least two types of wax- for sensitive skin and normal. A wax heater and applicators (wood typically work best), scissors and tweezers are the final supplies you need to perform the waxing.
On top of that, you need a chair (shampoo or facial chairs work best, if you can sit upright), a cleanser and an astringent (witch hazel works fine) and cotton balls or cotton pads.
Esthetician Spa Supplies
To work in a salon or a spa, you need a well vented room. You need dim lighting, and you will need a facial chair and potentially a massage chair (if you want to do back treatments). You may want to play soft, spa or new age music in the background.
You need a body cover, hair coverings, enough towels to do 2 or 3 services before washing(think about 8 towels per service), washing machine and dryer, a steamer, an O2 machine if you are planning on doing O2 treatments, microdermabrasion or hydrodermabrasion machines if you are planning on having those treatments, magnifying mirror and light for extractions and observing skin before you start services.
You will need forms to fill out for facial mapping and waivers for clients to sign. You will also need a form to keep records of each client and their skin types and conditions. That will be best filed in a cabinet so you can keep looking back to their past services.
Depending on what services you do, that will determine what items you will specifically need.
Esthetician Cleaning Supplies
You will need items to sanitize- Barbicide is one of the most recommended cleansers to use for tools. You can keep it in a jar to keep any combs, eyebrow tweezers or brushes and other small tools in. It also works in a spray bottle to clean chairs and other surfaces between clients. You will need a sterilizer(autoclave) as well to put tools that can be heated in. A good washer and dryer are also needed to clean all cloth items- drapes, towels and hair covers. You will also need normal PPE- gloves, mask and hand sanitizer.
Esthetician Chemical Peel Supplies
There are two main types of chemical peels you can choose to do, enzyme peel or normal chemical peels. You could choose to do both, or you may only want to do enzyme since they are for any skin types and are made with fruit enzymes. They are a safer way to get similar results to chemical peels.
You will need cleansers for all skin types and the peel itself. You will need to take note of all the peels you want to offer and the different strengths you want. There are two types of peels. There are normal chemical peels, where you apply the chemicals, and they cause the skin to blister and peel off, but they also offer a lower grade enzyme peel. With an enzyme peel, the skin doesn’t peel off and it’s not as strong as a regular peel, but it can be used for a larger number of skin types. You will also need wet towels to wash off the peel and a basket to dump all towels in before they get washed.
Esthetician Dermaplaning Supplies
Dermaplaning is a form of hair removal that involves using a special scalpel to scrape off fine skin cells and remove fine hair. This will require special training and may or may not be offered at the school you go to, but you may be able to find the training as a special class outside school.
It requires a special sharps box to put used scalpels, disposable scalpels in different sizes, cloth or napkin, cleanser, toner, and moisturizer.
Lash Esthetician Supplies
Lashes are done by most estheticians who offer make up as well as skin treatments. There are two types of lashes- lash extensions where you glue each lash on top of the natural lashes. These treatments can take up to a couple hours and require tweezers, glue, and the extensions.
They also make lashes as batches, where you glue small groups of lashes between the eye lashes to make the lashes look fuller. You will need the lashes, tweezers, and glue.
The third type of lash extension is put on a band that you use adhesive to glue the lash band over top of the normal lashes to make them look fuller.
Determine the types of lashes you want to do. You will need false lashes in a variety of colors and lengths, lash brush, mascara wand and lash glue/tape. You will also need an adhesive remover and a cleanser.
Brow Esthetician Supplies
Determine what particular services you will offer. If you want to sugar, you will need the sugar, melter/heater, gloves, brow brush, scissors, tweezers, and a handheld mirror. You will not need strips to sugar because you use your finger to put the sugar on and rip it off, so gloves are an absolute must.
To do waxing you will need the wax, heater, a small container to put the wax in, an applicator, a brow brush, tweezers, scissors and several cut strips of either paper or muslin.
You will need a cleanser or even alcohol wipes for before you do the service and an astringent for after.
You may also offer brow dying. If you offer that service, you will need a brow bleaching kit as well as dyes in light, medium and darker shades of blond, red and brown.
You may also wish to offer brow tinting with a special brow tint. You will need to get it in all colors and shades that natural eyebrows come in. When people choose this service, they want their brows typically to look fuller and more natural. You will also need a special applicator to put the tint on.
Esthetician Supplies for Facial Treatments
These are the most popular treatments. They can be done for acne, sensitive and damaged skin, antiaging or just to purify skin and provide a deeper cleansing. You can also add an acne and blackhead extraction to the service for an additional payment.
You will need any cleansers, masks, moisturizers and exfoliants for all skin types and you will need any serums you plan to offer. You will also need a magnifying lamp to inspect the skin and do any extractions that need to be done.
If you are doing antiaging treatments, you will need retinol treatment serums or collagen serums. If you are working with acne, salicylic acid or alpha-hydroxy acid. Tea tree oil is good to have on hand but can dry out skin if the skin type is combination or closer to dry.
If you are doing an extraction, you need an extractor (a metal device with a loop at the end), some gauze pads, gloves, and scaling fluid.
You need a normal facial chair, wrap, hair wrap, warm towels, and a steamer.
Esthetician Supplies for Body Treatments
Body treatments and wraps are a good way to add a relaxation treatment. They are similar to facials but used to either treat body acne or just moisturize the body. They are normally done on the back, with no shirt and on a massage table using a wrap. Massaging the treatments and moisturizer adds to the relaxing nature of this treatment.
You will need cleansers for all skin types, massage oil, regular moisturizer for all skin types, any body wraps you choose to use (seaweed, charcoal or any other specialty wraps you want to use) and skin masks. You will want extra warm towels, to make sure you will be able to cover a larger surface than you do with a face and you will want any special skin treatment additives that a client may need.
You will need a massage table for this service because the client will be laying face down in just a wrap so you can work primarily on their back. This treatment involves more massage than the other treatments, so a massage moisturizer is also a must. You can add this treatment with a body wax, wax then treat the legs and back. You will need enough massage cream to work into the legs, arms and back.
As you can see, you will need a lot of the same types of supplies for a lot of different types of treatments and the supplies needed will vary depending on the services offered. There are a lot of items that will be needed for all or almost all services, those will be necessities for any esthetician just starting out. As more skin services and treatments come out, there will be more products added to the professional market, more training and more ways to help clients achieve the skin of their dreams.